KMbeing

Knowledge Mobilization (KMb): Multiple Contributions & Multi-Production Of New Knowledge

Tag Archives: global

Knowledge Mobilization with a K.I.S.S.

keep it simple

We live in a complex world and think that only a few “expert” people have the “intelligence” or “best” knowledge to teach us how to deal with the complexities on this planet if we’re to survive and thrive in this world. That seems to be what many people want us to believe – that only a few people have “expert” knowledge to share that can make a difference. What really matters is not how much knowledge we have but how knowledge is shared in order to improve our lives, our communities and our planet and make things better for ourselves, our humanity and our world. That is what knowledge mobilization is all about.

We diminish each of our lives when we think that the knowledge we have to share for social benefit isn’t “good enough” or we’re not “smart enough” by not committing ourselves to many causes and activities of global knowledge sharing to make the world a better place for everyone. Every bit of knowledge that is shared for social benefit and combined with someone else’s knowledge brings us closer to global understanding – despite living in a complex world. Knowledge sharing is about being open to the knowledge of others and knowing that even the “limited” amount of knowledge that you have to share can make a difference when it’s connected to the greater good of global knowledge sharing for social benefit to make the world a better place for everyone.

There are many who think that the world is too complex to create global change through global knowledge sharing. There are many who think that the world is made up of too many differences in customs, beliefs and ideologies that ultimately lead to extremes and insurmountable conflicts that overwhelm us and condemn us to continue to make the same mistakes over and over again and never learn from the knowledge of the past. There are many who think that society has too many wicked problems to overcome. Yes, the reality is that these wicked problems exist and the complexity of these wicked problems continues to create barriers to social improvement and global peace. But thinking that these problems are too complex for us to make a difference by not even contributing and sharing from the experiences and knowledge that each of us has to make the world a better place – or by simply leaving it to the “intelligent” knowledge “experts” to figure out only adds to the barriers that already exist.

Knowledge sharing for social benefit is actually simple, and only through the simple will we overcome complexity. Of course, we have to be open-minded and recognize that the differences that lead to our global complexities, fears, hatred and violence stem from ignoring our common humanity and opportunities to focus on combining our knowledge globally.

There is an expression keep it simple, stupid – or K.I.S.S.

I think that the “stupid” are those too close-minded to share knowledge for social benefit, who ignore opportunities for each of us to combine our knowledge globally rather than being too caught up in the personal insecurities about the value of our own knowledge or default to the knowledge of the “experts”.

Knowledge sharing for social benefit is simple. That doesn’t mean that we will avoid the complicated when it’s necessary to face it, but that we realize that the very action of making a start to share knowledge for global understanding can make the world a better place. It’s a simple thing and does not need to be complicated, for all of our knowledge has value when we share it and are open to the knowledge of others. When we combine our knowledge differences to focus on our common humanity we can create change or improvement for all in the world – and in so doing we can create knowledge with a K.I.S.S.

Global Knowledge Community

online

Knowledge mobilization using social media connects people across the globe and helps create an online community where local becomes global and global becomes local.

 

 

A Knowledge New Year

face to face

As we begin the New Year 2013, we continue to share knowledge through knowledge mobilization by embracing new social networks like Pinterest – while keeping up with the fast pace of others like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.  Sharing and mobilizing knowledge on such platforms makes our local to global communication and collaboration easier and more effective – and has delivered some very tangible national & international knowledge-networking results.

When it comes to today’s fast-paced world of knowledge sharing, there’s no better place for social collaboration than online. These social networks may have made it easier to expand our knowledge networks, but our society has changed from being a more personal, face-to-face world of localized collaborative knowledge sharing activity to a more impersonal and isolated world confined by our digital domains. We went from verbally discussing and sharing knowledge in our in-person environments, around the water-cooler, in meetings, retreats or at conferences to sharing knowledge in a much wider but secluded, online manner of pic-pins, tweets and blogs –away from the very people who we use to bounce ideas off of and exchange knowledge with face-to-face.

When social media advanced to make it possible and easier to automate and broaden our knowledge sharing, it provided valuable knowledge sharing tools – but there is a risk of returning back to the very reasons why online knowledge mobilization/transfer & exchange activities became important in the first place.  In the past, we were often locked in the knowledge-silos of our professional disciplines and institutions where face-to-face knowledge sharing was more closed. There is now a risk that we can become locked behind digital knowledge-silos without face-to-face meetings – even though our knowledge sharing has become more multi-directional and networked.  

Thankfully, in the past few years, in-person and online “networks connected to other networks” – such as EENet – and Communities of Practice (CoPs) connected with other CoPs – such as The Canadian Knowledge Transfer & Exchange CoP (formerly the Ontario Knowledge Transfer & Exchange CoP) have been created to broaden knowledge sharing and engagement. Such knowledge sharing organizations still keep alive – even expanding -opportunities for face-to-face knowledge interactions and collaboration with a variety of stakeholders – while also making use of the value of connecting knowledge online through social media. 

Sadly, in the early race to create an online presence of knowledge links in the digital world, many organizations, institutions and individuals forgot about the value of face-to-face social interactions over social media interactions. The old discipline/institutional knowledge silos were soon replaced with new digital knowledge network silos.

Fortunately, the pendulum has swung back (although some individuals and agencies have yet to even begin to get on the social media page!), and more people recognize the value of both connecting by social media combined with connecting face-to-face to create even broader in-person and inclusive opportunities of knowledge sharing for multiple stakeholders .

In 2012, “social” media was all about collaboration and mobility of knowledge sharing.  Now, by creating both physical and virtual knowledge sharing networks like EENet and communities like The Canadian KTE Cop in-house and remote knowledge sharing have been brought together.

Humans are social beings who enjoy sharing knowledge, and human behaviour will always trump any technology.  Regardless of how sophisticated or user-friendly the technology may be, humans will always need to connect with others in-person. But, we must continue to recognize that we live in a world of diversity and extremes. On any social media platform, there are extreme users, non-users and those that fall in-between – And, there will always be some who feel more comfortable sharing knowledge in-person while others feel more comfortable sharing knowledge online. It makes sense that overly-focusing on one over the other creates missed opportunities.  Combining and expanding both in-person and online connections will enhance the knowledge sharing experiences and increase engagement.

As we begin the New Year 2013, I’d like to wish all of my online and in-person knowledge connections a very happy, healthy and social year of online and in-person knowledge mobilization (KMb)!

Immediate Global Knowledge

Social Media has created a new vision and ability of immediate global knowledge.

Portable GRUs (Global Research Universities) in Africa

KMb (Knowledge Mobilization)


Professor Simon Marginson, who teaches higher education at the University of Melbourne, recently presented the concept of the global research university (GRU) in a keynote address at the British Council’s Going Global international education conference in London. As quoted from the Times Higher Education blog, Marginson defined a GRU as a “multiversity”, active in all disciplines and fields “plus global systems and ranking … located in national systems of higher education, but also part of a global system at the same time”. Marginson also said: “In many nations, especially in Africa, there are no GRUs. None is in sight.” Although the blog did not address further why this might be so, it begs the question why are there no African GRUs in sight?

Perhaps a solution. According to textually.org, Africa’s digital technology is exploding across the continent as smart phone technology is increasing as much as 500 percent. Given remote access to web-based educational systems – like WebCT, and the unnecessary local physical infrastructure required, isn’t the concept of a portable GRU in the palm of your hand a no-brainer? Doesn’t it make sense as a goal of higher education to truly connect globally within and from impoverished countries already dealing with inequalities to promote greater global education?

Although the use of digital technology is growing in developing countries, Reuters reported that only 28% of all Africans had a cellular subscription at this time last year. Nonetheless, Africa continues to have one of the largest growth rates in voice, mobile Web and mobile commerce channels. One of the problems has been the cost of technology in such impoverished countries. The solution is providing handsets for less than $40 each, already being done for up to 6 million in Africa. African mobile usage has now surpassed fixed usage.

No doubt, Africa and other developing countries will continue to see a rise in the use of digital technology. As more individuals around the world have this type of global access and affordable cellular devices, the greater the possibility of seeing the further expansion of GRUs with portable GRUs – and a more educated global population. A more educated global population makes for greater economic development worldwide, and contributes to greater well-being of all citizens – local and global.

But we must remember to ask – by whose educational standards, whose educational values, whose educational beliefs? Western standards? Eastern standards? Northern standards? Southern standards? Or cooperative Global standards? GRUs, as part of a global system, need to accommodate open debate and higher thinking just as much as any on-campus classes in a physical university need to. Just as Web 2.0 technology has advanced the ability to socially interact and mobilize knowledge as never before, the greater this new web is cast across the globe to include rich and poor nations alike the greater the possibilities for global understanding and cooperation.

Professor Marginson calls for GRUs to be part of a “global system” but says “none is in sight”. Using digital technology to create portable GRUs around the world is the way to do it to put higher education – literally – in the hands of everyone. With the burgeoning of digital technology in Africa and other developing countries, perhaps portable GRUs there and around the world are closer than we think.